EFFECTIVE INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES THAT ENGAGE THE AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE
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Culturally-relevant instruction in middle school science engages and inspires the African American male to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM). With the exponential value and growth of STEM career options, African American males benefit from the integration of and exposure to cultural language and customs within their science learning. The purpose of the study was to explore the instructional strategies teachers use in middle science classes to engage students, particularly African American males. The study pursued teachers’ perspectives about best instructional practices facilitated in middle school that primarily address culturally-relevant science content. Data for this study was collected and analyzed via responses from an online survey using Qualtrics. The results of the study confirm that the values and needs of African American males are marginally considered during middle school science instructional planning. The teachers report weekly student-teacher discussion techniques as the most commonly implemented practice for student engagement. Whereas, the survey participants also reported that the reading strategy was more infrequently implemented. With respect to the culturally relevant instruction, the survey participants postulate that the introduction of cultural elements proffer more interesting, valuable, and relatable lessons in middle school science. However, the teacher responses demonstrate minimal to no inclusion of culturally relevant instruction Lastly, teachers can benefit from learning about culturally relevant practices and the multicultural framework.